I have written various blogs about the denomination I grew up in – the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI). I have critiqued Spiritual Formation and postmodern (Emerging/Emergent) teachings, which have been spreading throughout the denomination for years now. Yet for the most part denominational leaders have not responded. When they have responded, it seems they have no comprehension that the above-mentioned teachings are heretical. They have told me I do not understand Spiritual Formation and postmodern teachings. And they have told me I am “being divisive” to the denomination.
Why the negative reactions? These individuals in the EFCI claim to be born again, biblically sound Christians. They claim to know and understand the Truth of God’s Word. Yet when I call them out for believing and teaching heresies, I am the one that is reprimanded for (supposedly) spreading falsehoods about the denomination.
Eric Barger has faced similar negative responses from the Church of the Nazarene denomination, and expressed similar frustrations. Check out the following blog from Eric. Click here for the original text. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].
June 16, 2009
Response to YouTube comments about Eric’s video clip “Emergent Church and the Church of the Nazarene” from “The Errors of the Emergent Church” DVD
After reading so many nasty comments on YouTube concerning my video clip exposing the Emergent heresy which is at work inside the Church of the Nazarene I decided to weigh in once more on the matter. Watch the video clip and then read my comments here below. Thanks!
Commentary from Eric Barger
It ALL Comes Down to the Word of God!
The more I deal with the defenders of Emergent thinking, the more amazed I become. In my DVDs and seminar teachings, I constantly cite Scripture and compare the quotes of Emergent leaders verbatim from their books and public statements. Emergent defenders merely bemoan that I got it wrong and then call me divisive without ever answering the charges I level. They simply generalize that I am way off base without responding to what I suggest the Bible states. The real problem is just what place the Bible occupies in one’s belief system. That is REALLY what the Emergent vs. Bible-Believer debate is all about.
The New Testament gives us ample warning that deception will swirl INSIDE the Church. The great “apostasy” Paul cautioned of (II Thess 2:3) is the exact condition he spoke to Timothy about in II Timothy 3 – “a form of godliness” but void of the power of the Gospel. Jesus warned us an astounding 14 times about false teachers inside the Church. Concerning this, Paul spoke prophetically to the Ephesian elders and said that after his departure heretics and their false teachings would arise from their very midst (Acts 20:28-31). Furthermore, Peter warned of false teachers who would invade the Church from within introducing “damnable heresies” (II Pet 2:1). If, by chance, we ARE in the very end days of the Church age, should we be shocked that false teaching will be prevalent in our midst, purported to actually be the truth? The only way to discern truth from error is to rely completely on the Bible and nothing else.
Wherever Emergent philosophy is being embraced or heralded (be it in The Church of the Nazarene, Baptist, Calvary Chapel, the Assemblies of God, or elsewhere), its unbiblical nature needs to be exposed. Contrary to those who oppose me, shining the biblical spotlight on error IS indeed the truthful and loving thing to do. Souls are still going to hell (even if folks such as Brian McLaren don’t believe it) and I for one am willing to endure the disdain of a few Emergent defenders if what we are saying should direct some other individuals toward the Cross.
So, if I am wrong about the things I have reported concerning the Brian McLaren event sponsored by Northwest Nazarene University in February, 2008, please give me exact quotes and instances. Most importantly, show me where I am wrong scripturally. Otherwise, I suggest that Emergent-leaning Nazarenes stop hiding behind slogans such as the oft-used “in our Wesleyan tradition” to defend what is indefensible when compared to the Bible. The fact is that, if the “great learned few” who regularly tout their education and numerous degrees simply had a higher view and reverence for the Bible alone (like John Wesley actually did), then Emergent proponents, such as McLaren, would never be given the time of day – let alone the pulpit at once-solid theological institutions. Sadly, many enamored with their PhD’s and accompanying peer-approval fit Paul’s description in II Timothy 3:7 of being “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” How tragic that, for the second time in 200 years, “evangelicals” have fallen for Satan’s redefinition of Christianity at the hands of educated heretics teaching in once biblically-trustworthy schools. According to the Word, there is an extremely high price to pay for aiming people in the wrong spiritual direction. If only for this reason, those with any spiritual conscience need to ponder the eternal perils of supporting false gospels. Isn’t it obvious that having NO formal theological education would serve a person better than one that led the recipient (and others he or she might affect) AWAY from God?
– Eric Barger (www.ericbarger.com)
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(C) copyright 2009, Eric Barger